Learn how students are advocating for progress in Baltimore.
February 28, 2018
Black History Month invites us and students across the nation to reflect on and celebrate the many accomplishments and legacies of Black leaders. A key part of this legacy has been advocacy and perseverance in the face of systemic inequity. At TFA Baltimore we are in awe of Baltimore's young leaders – students, from all backgrounds, who are continuing this legacy by challenging the status quo through their unwavering spirit and determination. I invite you to learn in this month's newsletter about how students across Baltimore are advocating for themselves and their communities. – Courtney Cass, Executive Director
STORIES OF STUDENT LEADERSHIP
During the first week of February, students across Baltimore engaged in Black Lives Matter Week of Action in Schools. At City Neighbors Charter School, students spent the week preparing for a student-led assembly (pictured above). Students worked together to present on various social justice inequities through spoken word, visual art pieces, and artistic performances. The Baltimore Sun also highlighted the students and their leadership throughout the week. For students, it was a powerful week. As one student shared in the Sun article, "Black Lives Matter is bigger than just a thing people say. It’s about people coming together, working together.”
Earlier this month, ninth-grade students at the National Academy Foundation (pictured right) collaborated to present to the Baltimore City Council on the infrastructure issues facing many Baltimore City Public Schools. In the last few weeks, students conducted research to put together presentations on heat and energy and build their leadership skills. Students presented their research and potential solutions to address the problems to the Council.
“The most powerful moment of this experience is when the council members truly listened to my peers and me. They had an interest in what we were saying. It just reinforced for me that if things are to change, each and every one of us needs to say something.”
Eighth graders from Cross Country Elementary/Middle (pictured above) presented to the Baltimore City Council on Council Bill 17-0117, which would ban Styrofoam in food service facilities in Baltimore City. Through a project-based curriculum, students learned about the harmful effects of Styrofoam and how they could use their voice to advocate for the environment and their communities.
“My students continue to show me how resilient and passionate they are. To see them testify in front of the City Council was incredible. They continue to inspire me as a teacher.”
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